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Secluded Island Beach Getaways
South Padre Island, Texas
Bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay, South Padre Island in Texas is a nice place for a more private getaway on the beach. With a sub-topical climate South Padre Island is a year-round vacation destination. The only connection to the mainland for this 34 mile long barrier reef is the 2 1/2 mile Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge. Winter temperatures average around 65 degrees, with summer readings at an average of 82 degrees.
Don't wear a tie because Padre Island is a "no tie zone", where the working world is not existent. Fines are issued for those who break this cardinal rule. Miles of sandy beaches and a relaxing atmosphere make for a nice relaxing vacation, yet there are plenty of activities available for those interested. Some activities include: windsurfing, kiteboarding, parasailing, surfing, skiing or horseback riding. These are only a few of the many fun things the island has to offer for people of all ages. For those searching for a bit of culture change, the border of Mexico is only about thirty miles south.
Ecotourism is popular on the island as well as birding, and with over 300 species of birds one can see why. The Dolphin and Nature Research Center plays a big role in nature conservation and education. Enjoy a dolphin boat trip or learn more about the other creatures that live in and around the gulf waters. Enjoy a break from the usual beach trip and see what South Padre Island has to offer.
Enderts Beach, California
Located in California’s Redwoods National Park, driftwood-strewn Enderts Beach lies just below wildflower blanketed bluffs. Many redwoods in the park may be over 2,000 years old, reaching heights of up to 35 stories. Look up and admire their beauty while walking the half mile trail from the parking lot to the wide sandy beach below.
Once on the beach, send the kids on a guided tide pool walk. This is a two and a half hour walk through the park with one of the rangers as a guide. Camping is permissible amongst these forest giants at Nickel Creek campground, so take a tent. Adults can enjoy a quiet day of sunbathing on this beautiful Pacific coastline. Migrating whales can be seen during the months of March and April.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Sanibel Island, Florida with its white sandy beaches and plenty of things to do makes a nice getaway without having to fight large crowds. Enjoy the warm temperatures of the sub-tropical climate any time of the year. Lay back and relax while waves crash the shoreline or enjoy a day of shell hunting which is a popular island activity.
The different beaches of Sanibel Island have many interesting attractions making each one unique. Bowman's Beach is known for its white sand beach and secluded, quiet atmosphere. Enjoy a cookout on one of the outdoor barbecue grills. Other causeway beaches include: Gulf side, Lighthouse Beach, and Tarpon Bay Beach.
The island, with its swaying palms, tropical foliage, and crystal clear water makes guests feel as if they have stepped onto a tropical escape. Some activities popular to the island include: boating, kayaking, canoeing, water-skiing, shelling, fishing, hiking, biking, tennis, golf, and shopping.
Excellent restaurants and accomodations can be found on the island making it nice for those who wish to have a romantic getaway, wedding, or honeymoon. Just a short drive from Fort Myers International Airport, Florida can put you on the island for the vacation of your dreams.
Family Beaches in NC
- Visit Atlantic Beach, North Carolina
Located on the Eastern side of Bogue Banks, along North Carolina's Crystal Coast, is Atlantic Beach. Atlantic Beach has plenty of shopping, boating, fishing, nightlife, dining, and a variety of activities...
- Holden Beach, North Carolina
Holden Beach, North Carolina is quiet with a relaxing atmosphere, and is a great place to take the entire family. Relax and soak up some sun on one of the beautiful Brunswick area beaches. Holden Beach is...
Hammocks Beach State Park
Hammocks Beach, North Carolina
Hammocks Beach State Park is located on Bear Island, a North Carolina barrier island that is 3.5 miles long and bordered by the Atlantic to the south and the Intracoastal Waterway to the north. Bear Island is one of the most unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic coast. Hammocks Beach is accessible only by private boat or passenger ferry or private boat.
Hammocks Beach may not be for everyone, but the island is a retreat for people who don't mind a relaxing vacation full of sand, sea, sun, and sky. For those couples with children, not to worry, there are plenty of cool things most kids enjoy. Kids of all ages enjoy watching the marine life that can be found in the island's many tidal pools, or exploring sand dunes. For those who wish, feel free to camp right on the beach! There are primitive campsites located near the beach with water and facilities available on the island throughout the summer.
Take a relaxing stroll down the beach, or try some surf fishing. There are plenty of trout, puppy drum, and blue fish just waiting for the right bait. The island also offers a covered shelter for cool picnics and a concession stand that offers cold drinks and snacks. If planning a trip to Hammocks Beach, be sure to check ferry schedule times online as they are subject to change.
Cumberland Island, Georgia
About the Island
Cumberland Island, a Georgia barrier island, was once an exclusive retreat for wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie and his family. The lush forests and more than seventeen miles of uninterrupted beachfront along the island's Atlantic coastline are open to the public. Part of Cumberland Island is privately owned.
Most visitors to the island arrive via passenger ferry from the town of Saint Marys, Georgia, yet kayaks and private boats are also permissible. The only amenities available to beach-goers are restrooms, water fountains and bike rentals. Guests must bring all their own food and supplies. Ruins and remains of some of the Carnegie family mansions can be seen with tours available of the two still standing, Plum Orchard and Greyfield House, which is now Greyfield Inn.
There are several backcountry campsites on the island for varying fees. Be sure to adhere to all of the camping/campsite rules to keep to park nice for everyone. Cumberland Island has fifty miles of hiking trails through historic districts, wetlands, forests, and of course the beautiful beaches.
Opportunities for photographers are endless with the numerous historic structures and ruins that can be found scattered all over the island. Just a few Kodak moments could include: the scenery, sunrise, sunset, plant and animal life, including a variety of bird species. Other activities that can be found on this beautiful barrier island include: bird watching, swimming, boating, kayaking, and biking.
Beach combing can be very rewarding, especially after a strong surf or storm. Some great finds could include coquinas, heart cockles, ark shells, disc clams, moon snails, and sometimes an olive shell or sand dollar. Wildlife is not scarce on Cumberland Island. Camping provides a great opportunity to see a variety of animals, including those elusive ones such as white tail deer, bobcats, and otters. Other critters common to the island include vultures, dolphins, wild turkeys, lizards, and wild horses.